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© Olimpiadas Especiales Uruguay

Using volleyball to include the disabled in Uruguay

A project in Uruguay to promote social and sports inclusion for youth and adults with physical or cognitive disabilities through volleyball.

The Air Liquide Foundation is involved in a program run by Olimpiadas Especiales Uruguay to promote the inclusion of disabled youth and adults. Founded in 1994, the association operates a successful initiative in Montevideo that combines teaching, practice and competitive games of indoor and beach volleyball.

Disabilities in Uruguay

In the last few years, the development of public policies and the promotion of civil society organizations have brought disabilities as a social issue to the forefront. Despite these efforts, it is still a tough topic to discuss and progress towards inclusion has been slow. Because they are unable to fully exercise their rights, people with cognitive impairment of physical disabilities face challenges in access to training, jobs and recreational opportunities. In this context, disabled Uruguayan minors and adults have few places where they can learn a sport and develop their social skills as they practice.

Inclusive Volleyball

Inclusive Volleyball is a project run by Olimpiadas Especiales Uruguay. The project started in 2012 with indoor volleyball, then expanded in 2015 to include beach volleyball. Volunteers teach and coordinate the activities.

The different objectives of this project are to:

  • Teach the skills of teamwork, discipline, perseverance and commitment. These skills facilitate the social inclusion of the athletes on a daily basis.
  • Promote the potential of persons with cognitive and physical disabilities when playing teams with non-disabled members.
  • Organizing and participating in various national and international tournaments. In 2015, Olimpiadas Especiales competed in the Special Olympic Games held in Los Angeles (United States) and in the 2017 games in Panama City.

How the Air Liquide Foundation is participating

The Air Liquide Foundation is strengthening and improving the project by purchasing training equipment.


  • Project implementer: Olimpiadas Especiales Uruguay
  • Location: Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Year of support: 2018
  • Air Liquide sponsor: Lucas Rodríguez Rosas, commercial industriel, Air Liquide Uruguay